How to Grow Your Business From a Single Site to Multiple Locations

By Annie Pilon

How to Open a Second Location for Your Small Business

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Expanding your small business can be exciting for any entrepreneur. However, adding multiple locations means you can no longer be physically present in every spot to control the daily operations. And that can be a difficult thing for hands-on business owners who have largely overseen those operations since day one.

This is just one of the challenges that comes with expanding to multiple locations. You also need to keep track of inventory, manage employees and potentially even customize the products and prices to suit the needs of each location.

Since you can’t be at every location to monitor what’s being sold, you need an easy way to track sales and monitor inventory. You want to make sure that you have enough stock at each location, but not so much that you end up wasting valuable resources.

You also need to regularly monitor transactions, not only to make sure that your team is upholding their end of the bargain, but also to see what items are selling best and what factors might be impacting those sales. When you add multiple locations, you might start to notice different trends at each one. But you need a way to find out that information so you can take advantage of it, instead of just assuming that every location will act just like that first one.

Southern Angel Donut Co. in Pinehurst, North Carolina is one business that recently made the shift to a multi-location operation. The company opened a second location in Robbins, North Carolina. The two locations are only about a half hour apart. So the owners can keep operations fairly similar and check in at both locations regularly. However, as a small business with limited resources, they still need an easy way to track what’s selling at each location so they don’t have a ton of waste.

Honeysuckle Gelato in Atlanta, Georgia is another company that is currently working on expansion. One of the company’s new locations will be just south of Atlanta, but the other is in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This opens up a new potential set of challenges for the company. When you expand into new markets, it’s not just about keeping up on the day-to-day inventory that’s being used. You may be dealing with customers that have a completely different set of preferences.

Even if you offer limited products or if the customers in your different markets tend to have similar preferences, they still might have different pricing needs or demands. For example, a company expanding from the Northeast to the Midwest might not be able to extend its former prices to those new customers who are used to paying lower rates. So you need to be able to adjust.

“Small business owners, whether they’re in the restaurant industry or the retail business or whatever, are usually very hands on in the store when they’re first getting started,” Shawn Hagist, product director for NCR’s Silver Pro series, said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends.

“They run a lot of those day-to-day operations themselves. But …read more

Read more here:: SmallBusinessTrends

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